Val Demings pulls in $8.4M in ‘historic’ third quarter fundraising haul

Demings, Val - 4
Demings will need a massive war chest to unseat two-term incumbent Marco Rubio.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings raked in $8.4 million during the last three months for her U.S. Senate campaign — more than any candidate has raised at this stage of a Senate campaign in Florida history.

The total more than doubles what Demings raised between her candidate announcement in June and the end of the quarter. She already raised about $5 million the first few weeks of her campaign. Minus expenses, the Democrat still sits on about $6 million available as cash on hand.

Of course, Demings will need a massive war chest to unseat two-term U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

“This will be the strongest campaign in Florida’s history — a campaign that goes everywhere and cedes no ground,” wrote Demings’ campaign manager Zach Carroll. “We are reaching out to voters of all political stripes — Democrats, Republicans, and independents — who know that Marco Rubio is failing to look out for them in Washington.”

The $8.4 million came from some 308,000 donations, most of them small with the average check coming in around $28.45. But more important than the number of donors is the number of voters already touched by the campaign, Carroll wrote.

“Since announcing in June, our campaign has traveled across the state, from the big cities to small rural towns,” he wrote. “Demings met with Cuban American leaders in Miami to discuss the crisis in Cuba; campaigned in Tallahassee and small towns in North Florida, including with community leaders in Quincy; met with leaders of Florida’s Haitian American community in Miami to discuss the ongoing violence and political instability in Haiti; met with Mayor [Rick] Kriseman and other leaders who are on the frontlines in the fight against Red Tide in the Tampa Bay region, and traveled to Surfside to pay respects to the victims of the tragic building collapse.”

The campaign expects Rubio as the incumbent to maintain a cash advantage, but believes that can be overcome.

“We expect that these resources will pale in comparison to the vast amounts of wealthy corporate money that [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio will spend in this election,” Carroll wrote. “Make no mistake: we expect to get outspent, and our historically strong fundraising will simply allow us to keep up with the tens of millions of dollars wealthy special interests will dump into Florida on Marco Rubio’s behalf next year.”

Rubio, shortly after Demings announced her numbers, announced through Fox News that he raised $6 million over the same period. He reported $4 million in donations in the second quarter, less than Demings despite raising money over three months. In total, he said he’s raised $12 million since the start of the year. But most of that time he had no opponent to speak of and he still has millions amassed since his last campaign in 2016. He told the outlet he had about $9.6 million in cash on hand at the start of October, about $3.6 million more than Demings.

Demings’ team pointed to a recent poll commissioned by Florida Politics as evidence the Senate contest can be won by Democrats.

St. Pete Polls in August found Rubio up 48% to 46%, within the poll’s 2.2% margin of error. Perhaps more important, it showed the incumbent under 50% support in a state where he has held statewide office for more than a decade.

“Floridians know that Rubio is a slick, spineless, and pandering politician who looks out for himself and corporate special interests, leaving everyday Floridians behind. Rubio isn’t strong enough to stand up for working Floridians anymore, he’s just in it for himself even when it hurts Florida,” Carroll wrote. “With this profile, Rubio will struggle to motivate the same voters who showed up for other Republicans in recent elections.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


12 comments

  • Alex

    October 13, 2021 at 7:09 am

    Tick-tock Marcocito.

    Reply

    • PeterH

      October 13, 2021 at 8:21 am

      Marco Rubio needs to find gainful employment in the private sector! I would recommend Fox News …. but that “news” conglomerate is the arm of the January 6th coup planners! Americans will never forget January 6th!

      Reply

  • PeterH

    October 13, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Every Republican in Congress needs to be removed from office. All but two Republicans are devoted to their coup leader Donald Trump. These clowns had extensive verifiable evidence to impeach and remove from this office their lying racist birther fraud incompetent president….. and did nothing! Join real conservatives in the Lincoln Project in support of Val Demings and help us defeat Rubio, Scott and DeSantis in 2022 and beyond.

    Reply

    • Evan Miller

      October 13, 2021 at 8:44 am

      Val Demmings needs to find her service weapon that was stolen from her unlocked city vehicle.

      Reply

  • PeterH

    October 13, 2021 at 8:50 am

    Blah blah blah ….. same old tripe!

    Let’s count Marco’s mistakes that resulted in real American deaths!

    🙀

    Reply

    • Evan Miller

      October 13, 2021 at 9:40 am

      How is that Biden thing working out for you?

      Reply

      • Alex

        October 13, 2021 at 10:44 am

        I’m very pleased so far, thanks for asking,

        He’s made us safer by mandating vaccinations, he’s repaired most of the damage Trump did to Obamacare, he’s reconnected us to our best allies and is making alliances to protect against possible Chinese attacks on friends, he pulled us out of the cesspool of Afghanistan that Bush started and resulted in thousands of dead troops and huge $$ for absolutely nothing, he’s restarted talks with Iran that are making us more safe, he rejoined the Paris climate agreement and is moving forward with it, he killed the Trump ban on transgenders in the military, and he’s gonna pass a massive infrastructure bill that Trump couldn’t.

        And he just started.

        Reply

        • Evan Miller

          October 13, 2021 at 11:53 am

          You just listed everything he has done wrong.

          Reply

        • Phil Morton

          October 14, 2021 at 3:42 pm

          Also, added almost 5 million jobs and unemployment claims are the lowest in 20 months. Pretty good for nine months on the job.

          Reply

  • Evan Miller

    October 13, 2021 at 11:54 am

    You just listed everything he has done wrong.

    Reply

  • martin

    October 15, 2021 at 7:13 am

    There will have to be a collapse of Rubio’s campaign for him to lose. Florida is trending non lefty except for a few urban areas.
    This latest nitwit Dem candidate Demmings is being groomed for 2024 against Scott for Senate or Desantis for Governor. They wanted that appalling fool Gillum to be the brand recognition guy for 2022 and 2024 but even with the media all but working for his campaign, he couldn’t keep from the real person being exposed. So they’ve moved onto grooming Demmings as that name recognition Florida dem. Be sure that they’ll be polls saying “she’s winning!” in any office she is running for. Be sure they’ll say she’s raised huge amounts of money to get her in the lefty media, then when needed they’ll say she’s being outspent because of big money interests. Never, ever believe anything in media regarding lefties.

    Reply

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